Lionel Hollins last coached the Grizzlies in ’12-’13 and now the Rockets are looking to hire him as an assistant coach. He would be working alongside Kevin McHale who coached the Rockets to the five seed in the 2014 playoffs.
Hollins would presumably prefer to get a head coaching gig, but if the Rockets called then it might be a good fit for him. Houston is very talented offensively, and if Hollins could help boost their defense then they could an even more dangerous team. It’s not even necessarily that the Rockets were a bad defensively, but they did struggle in the first round of the playoffs against the Blazers.
The Rockets were 12th in the NBA in defensive rating in 2013-14, giving up 103.1 points per 100 possessions. It was an improvement from the previous season when they had a defensive rating of 103.5, good for 16th in the NBA. During their six games against the Blazers in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, the Rockets were lit up on defense. They gave up a playoff worst 111.8 points per 100 possessions while being eliminated in six games.
McHale has also been on and off the hot seat during his tenure, so if the Rockets slip up a bit then Hollins could potentially work as a replacement. Houston also lost assistant Kelvin Sampson near the end of last season, so extra help on the bench would be welcome in any capacity.
Hollins was a very good coach while he was here in Memphis, and his dismissal was a contentious topic at the time. Dave Joerger did very well this past year in Hollins stead making the transition a bit easier. Hollins was 214-201 during his tenure with the Grizzlies.